Thinking at the Beach

August 13th, 2009 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

In January, my journey to create a new division for SunStone Consulting, LLC, began, and, with the economy in a deep slump, it appeared to be a journey fraught with almost insurmountable challenges.  How does one begin a new division during a time when most organizations were digging deeply into self-preservation mode?

Photo credit: Generation Y Travel
Outer Banks, NC | Photo credit: Generation Y Travel

The first concept that we explored was to help organizations, groups, councils, and associations assist their members while providing either a stream of income or discounts for these organizations.  Several companies responded positively to this idea: Chambers of Commerce, Hospital organizations, and others signed on for involvement in these relationships.

By March, nearly 20 companies had come on board and 12 more have followed since then.  We brought on two additional marketing specialists to assist us with these contacts.  The areas of interest ranged from Environmental to Government; software to construction projects, from hazardous waste to  fund raising, building quality initiatives into employee job descriptions; and economic development to educational training for management.

Once it was clear that this component of the new division was going to be functional and effective, we placed our focus and emphasis on direct consulting, which, due to the economy, was a much greater challenge.  This effort started very slowly as organization after organization expressed sincere interest but most also faced serious budgetary challenges.  Of course, for SunStone Consulting’s other financial divisions, because they specialize in finding the money that typically was already earned by the hospital or assisting with compliance and billing issues, business remained strong.

telemedicine_connectsDuring this time some very interesting assignments appeared including:  a university wellness program, multiple brain-oriented companies, as well as two PTSD, and two combat wound injury-related programs.  This part of the new division is now beginning to flourish with assignments ranging from the military to a hospital-based disaster recovery center, from telemedicine in rural hospitals to development efforts in Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and California.

As we move forward into this next quarter, it is clear that the new division will produce results through rewarding relationships for all companies involved.

Some of you have asked me how this effort relates to having been a hospital CEO, and that answer is clear.  As a CEO, my days were filled with challenges, with literally dozens of special efforts emanating from numerous areas.  For example, here is a typical  list of topics dealt with on a CEO’s agenda:   meetings regarding the following:

  • Community Fitness Center
  • Tissue Repository
  • Breast Center
  • Hospice
  • OB department expansion
  • Pharmacy
  • Operating Rooms scheduling
  • Emergency Department
  • a construction project
  • marketing efforts for a new initiative
  • finance

If you can’t multi-task, the position of CEO is not a place to be, and keeping up with these consulting clients is just as stimulating.

By March, nearly 20 companies had come on board and 12 more have followed since then.  We brought on two additional marketing specialists to assist us with these contacts.


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